Locals riled at compensation amount

POKHARA: Twenty-seven years after the Bhupi Sherchan Highway was constructed, distribution of compensation to local landlords has begun in Kaski.

It was said that the owner would be provided with Rs 80,000 for one ropani land 25 metres from both sides of the road from the centre-point in 1988.

Say the paltry amount given won’t even buy them a buffalo let alone land elsewhere

Though compensation distribution has begun 27 years after the valuation, the same amount has been given the owners. According to Division Office Kaski, of the 73 km road from Pokhara to Baglung, landowners of Lumle and Salyan VDCs are distributed Rs 300 million in compensation in the second phase. The amount for 375 ropani land adjoining the road was released from the office, said Prakash Sharma, an official. Residents of Dhikurpokhari, Hemja and Pokhara sub-metropolitan city were provided compensation last year.

However, the landlords are not satisfied as they were provided compensation as per the valuation calculated 27 years ago. “The government is doing injustice to us by providing compensation based on the valuation in 1988,” said Bal Krishna Devkota of Lumle, who was approaching Division Road Office Pokhara for compensation on Wednesday. “If we were provided the amount then, we could easily manage a good piece of land in Pokhara or at least two to three ropani in the village. But the amount is not sufficient to buy a buffalo,” he said.

Another victim Pabitra Devkota said that now a ropani of the same land costs more than Rs 5 lakh. “Providing us compensation after 27 years at the rate that was then current is like giving land to the road for free,” said Pabitra.

Though the road office had announced distribution of compensation then, it had failed to provide the money to those whose lands had been appropriated due to lack of budget.